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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has gotten over his fear of artificial intelligence

Apple co-founder: Changed my mind on artificial intelligence

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has done a complete about-face on the fear that artificial intelligence could "take over" humanity, he told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.

"I've totally changed my mind — We aren't talking about artificial intelligence that sits down and says, 'What is my life in the world? What do I have as obstacles? How do I solve them? What should I solve?'," Wozniak said. "Only humans do that."

Wozniak's position is a reversal from his comments a couple of years ago, when he told The Australian Financial Review that there was "no question" that computers would take over from humans, and that such a prospect would be "scary and very bad."

"What we are talking about for artificial intelligence hasn't gotten to that level of brain functionality yet," Wozniak told CNBC on Monday, calling it more like "semi-intelligence."

Despite swelling popularity of artificial intelligence, Apple hasn't made the splash with Siri that Amazon has made with Alexa, its artificially intelligent assistant. But Wozniak said Apple may be playing its cards close to the vest.

"A lot of other companies like Google have been more forthcoming and talking about what they're doing, Apple's tendency is to be quiet and shock you with what they come up with," Wozniak said. "These are going to be very important things in our future."

Wozniak — who founded Apple in a garage with Steve Jobs in 41 years ago — believes that the company will continue to grow larger and more dominant until at least 2075, according to an interview with USA Today. Wozniak is headlining the upcoming Silicon Valley Comic Con, an event that aims to unite pop culture and technology.

"It would be ridiculous to not expect them to be around (in 2075). The same goes for Google and Facebook," Wozniak told USA Today on Friday.

One example of Apple's future with artificial intelligence could be in self-driving cars, Wozniak told CNBC on Monday. Apple has reportedly received a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California.

"Apple is such a large company it has to go after big markets," Wozniak said. "And self-driving cars is one that we're all reading about every day, and almost every car company in the world is working toward that. I go back and think about what made Apple successful and as big as it is. Look at the iPhone... you know, it was questionable at first but that was the way everyone wanted to go...So I'm hoping Apple goes the same way with autonomous cars. That you have one car —that can be sold without a steering wheel maybe — that is so perfect that everyone goes, 'Oh my gosh, I want this.'"